I am making this short guide for those that got caught up in all the modding before playing the game and once you start modding, you are never happy with one or two small details but that is enough to stop you.
Well, with this guide, everything works. Meaning, rarely crashes(~20hrs for me), perfect framerate(for the most part), still enjoyable even at high levels(I'm at 40 something today).
I don't plan on making this guide for any new user that just wants to install and go, but I'm positive that anyone can follow this without any issues, if they put some research into it.
If someone wants to edit this guide to include new user specific details, feel free.
I don't think any mod that I would include would require a top-tier rig but Skyrim is picky, especially with processors.
AMD processors just don't hold up that well with Skyrim and even my 6700k struggles when overclocked to 4.5GHz in Raven Rock.
The only real FPS killer that I recommend is ENB that Vivid Weather supplies.
Without this I would recommend a relatively modern card(<6 yrs) that is a mid-tier performance, like a nVidia: 460 or an AMD: 6850.
If you have less than or equal to 1GB VRAM then I recommend NOT using the HDDLC and use the standard definition version of Optimized Vanilla Textures.
If you have less than or equal to 2GB VRAM then I recommend using the HDDLC and use the high definition version of Optimized Vanilla Textures.
Everyone else, don't bother with optimizing and use the HDDLC because you have the room to be wasteful.
Why not go full bore and mod?
Eh, lately I get overwhelmed even thought I have the knowledge on how to fix and patch some things; now that I think about it, that's probably the cause.
So, I set out to find the mod fixed vanilla load order I can come up with that one involved the minimal amount of patching required.
Why mod Skyrim at all?
There are several issues with the base game that I just couldn't bear.
- There are too many bugs out there that break quest lines
- Solution: USLEEP
- The texture for the most part are distracting, especially the landscape.
- Solution: Any large texture pack: SRO, HD2K, etc...
- High level scaling is boring and very inconsistent
- Solution: HLE, PerMaZones, DFB
- Perks/Skills are terrible
- Most overhaul change the skills too much but I can't install mid play through to try out. Maybe TTRSO but this is on the verge of crossing the line.
- Player levels up to quickly
- I wanted to try BETTER LEVELING but I cannot during a play through.
Setup Mod Manager
You can actually use any mod manager and probably be fine but there are some MO specific features that this guide will and will NOT utilize. If you are using MO please:
- turn off the Archive Management
- turn on BSA extraction(mod specific)
If you are not using MO then it would be a good time to fine a bsa extractor for a few mods that don't need a plugin or a bsa.
Please clean the DLC, this just prevents few ITMs on top of the other DLCs and also may prevent some deleted reference related crashes.
Clean the INIs
I am not a fan of randomly changing the inis because it may make the game run better. Install Skyrim Project INI (spINI) and select the most appropriate options.
- This application is 64bit and will not run through MO but to get around this, after you are done editing the inis, copy the inis from the "My Games\Skyrim" folder to the profiles folder in MO.
When inside spINI:
- Make sure the correct Game and directories are detected correctly
- Tick the "Fix Creation Kit" box
- Make sure the "spINI Presets" button is ticked
- If you are using ENB, please tick the "ENB support" box
- Please select either High or Ultra
- Windowed mode may cause issues such as poor performance.
- I leave these default
- I leave these default
- I leave these default
- Select or enter the desired FOV, I prefer a high value such as 95°
- Tick the "Reflect Sky" box
- Change the "Shadow Resolution" to 2048 as this will help performance even on high end rigs
- View Distance
- You may want to change the "Distant Object Detail Preset", I use Ultra
- Change the "Grass Density" to 20
- You may want to change the "Far-off Tree Distance" to 75000
- External programs or dlls that assist Skyrim.
|ENBoost||Detailed instructions available.|
|Skyrim Script Extender||Detailed instructions available|
Be sure to get the skse.ini file setup correctly. I chose a blocks1 value of 1024 which is more than enough for me.
|PapyrusUtil - Modders Scripting Utility Functions||Required for DynDoLOD.|
- SKSE dlls to help skyrim be a better game
|Bug Fixes||Default values are probably fine.|
|Crash Fixes||Do NOT enable the new memory options as of 12b4 since the game may crash due to memory fragmentation. Default values are probably fine.|
|Enchantment Reload Fix|
|Skyrim - Memory Blocks Log|
|Skyrim - Enhanced Camera|
|Skyrim -Community- Uncapper|
- Fixes for the oh-so-broken Skyrim
|Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition Patch||Download the Fog Remover optional. If you want the main menu, install it outside of MO.|
|Unofficial High Resolution Patch||If you are using the HDDLC, please install and extract the bsa. After which, please move the esp to the optionals.|
|Brawl Bugs Patch - Plugins - Modder Resource||Please install the main file and extract the bsa. After which, please move the esp to the optionals.|
|Dead Body Collision Fix||Please install the "Dead Body Collision" optional.|
|Dragon Stalking Fix||Please install the main file and select loose files and Dragonborn.|
|Follower Trap Safety||Please install the main file.|
|Invisibility Glitch - Eyes Fix||Please install the main file.|
|No NPC Greetings||Please install the "Slightly Reduced Distance NPC Greetings" main file.|
|NARC - No Animals Report Crimes||Please install the "Skyrim Project Optimization - Full Version" main file and do not use the optional version.|
|Realistic Ragdolls and Force||Please install the "Realistic Force" main file..|
|Skyrim Project Optimization||Please install the "NARC" main file.|
|Wiseman303's Trap Fixes||Please install the main file with the default options.|
|Wallrim - MainMenu Grand Wallpaper Collection||Download the Fog Remover optional. If you want the main menu, install it outside of MO.|
|Weapons and Armor Fixes Remade||Download the main file.|
Install "Weapons and Armor Fixes Remade"
|Clothing and Clutter Fixes||Download the "Clothing and Clutter Fixes" main file.|
- Fixes for the terrible Skyrim interface
|Better Dialogue Controls||Download the main file.|
|Better MessageBox Controls||Download the main file.|
|Compass Mod - Immersive Undiscovered Locations||Download the main file.|
|Immersive HUD - iHUD||Download the main file. MCM settings TBA.|
|moreHUD||Download the main file. MCM settings TBA.|
|SkyUI||Download the main file. MCM settings TBA.|
- Fixes are Core and Extended are enhanhancements.
|HD Detailed Terrain||Download and install "HD Detailed Terrain - Main File" main file.|
|HD Enhanced Terrain||Download and install "HD Enhanced Terrain PRO - Blended Version" main file.|
|High Quality LODs||Download and install "HQLODs - Meshes Hi-Res" main file.|
|No stretching||Download, install and extract the bsa for "No stretching USKP compatible" main file, "No stretching Markarth" optional and "Very small Update" miscellaneous files. Move all the plugins to the optionals.|
|Skyrim particle patch for ENB||Download and install "PARTICLE PATCH ALL-IN-ONE INSTALLATION" and "SUBSURFACE SCATTERING PATCH". (install even though you don't use ENB)|
|Static Mesh Improvement Mod - SMIM||Download and install the main file. Install using the "Custom option" and check everything except than carriages and the smelter.|
|Skyrim Realistic Overhaul DG v1 6 Optimal (1k 2k)||Warning: The link points to a torrent site. If you are not comfortable with this please use an alternative such as HD2k,|
|Project Parallax Remastered||Download and install the most appropriate version, Skyrim Realistic Overhaul. Then install the "SMIM Bridge 1-74 update" and "Stonewall Update".|
|Enhanced textures detail (UV-tweaks)||
Install "All in One FOMOD installer (segmented)"
Install "Enhanced Tree clutter update" normally
Install "SHD Rocks" manually
|SkySight - Smelter Ultra HD 4K and 2K Textures||Download and install either of the main files.|
|The Ruffled Feather||Download the "The Ruffled Feather v4.3.0" miscellaneous file.|
Install "The Ruffled Feather v4.3.0"
|Like A Moss - Whiterun Moss Fix||If you use Project Parallax Remastered please install the "Like a Moss - Parallax" mainfile, otherwise use the "Like a Moss" main file|
|Wiseman303's Critter Fixes||Install the "WM Critter Fixes v1_06" main file. Only install the "Monarch Wing Fix" optional.|
|Wiseman303's Flora Fixes||Install the main file and the "WM Flora Fixes SMIM Patch" optional is you use Static Mesh Improvement Overhaul.|
- Changes for the gameplay that doesn't work very well
|BETTER LEVELING PerMa SkyRe SPERG Skyrim Unleashed Skyrim Skills Redesigned Elys Community Uncapper||I have not used this and I regret it. After about 120hours, I am over leveled in noncombat skills making all the enemies super spongy which isn't fun.
If youre going to play skyrim like an RPG, I would highly recommend this.
|Download and install the "Better Leveling 4.0 - Skyrim Vanilla - NoPainNoGain" main file.|
|D13 Faster GET UP STAND UP animation vanilla friendly||Download and install the main file.|
|DFB - Random Encounters - MCM||Download and install the main file. MCM settings TBA.|
|Even Better Quest Objectives - EBQO||Download the main file.|
Install "Even Better Quest Objectives - 1.5.7a"
|PermaZONES - Dangerous Encounter Zones for Skyrim||The mod changes the encounter zones so that there is a higher minimum level for the spawned enemies but there is also a max level. I found the vanilla enemy levels to be too broad which allowed some enemies to be impossibly hard but others be too easy and very boring. The DLC lands are for high levels, 50+. Here is an export of the encounter zones||Download and install the main file. Select the "Balanced" option then select the "PermaZONES Legendary Balanced" option.|
|High Level Enemies||I recommend this mod as it add more variants of vanilla enemies with different stats, names, and perks.||Download and install the main file. Select the "Normal Version", "Dawnguard Normal Version", "Dragonborn Normal Version" and then "No Falskaar".|
|Proper Torch Wield - Hold your torch away from your face||Download and install the main file.|
|Run For Your Lives|
|SkyComplete - Automatically Track Quests - Locations - Books||Download and install the "SkyComplete - Legendary Edition 1.45" main file.|
|Wearable Lanterns||This mod makes finding all the content in skyrim possible.||Download and install the "Wearable Lanterns 4.0.2 Release" main file.|
|Wearable Lanterns SMIM Patch||Download and install the "Wearable Lanterns SMIM Patch" main file if you use Static Mesh Improvement Overhaul and Wearable Lanterns|
|When Vampires Attack|
- Changes for the audio.
|Lucidity Sound FX||Download and install the main file.|
|Audio Overhaul for Skyrim 2||Download the main file.|
Install "AOS 2.5.1 Full Installer"
Weather and Lighting
- Changes for the weather and lighting as they both suck
|Enhanced Lighting for ENB (ELE) - LITE||Safe to use even if you don'y use ENB||Download the "ELE_Lite_v0_95b - NMM_BAIN" main file.|
Install "ELE_Lite_v0_95b - NMM_BAIN"
|Relighting Skyrim||Download the "Relighting Skyrim" main file.|
Install "Relighting Skyrim"
|Vivid Weathers - a complete Weather and Visual overhaul for Skyrim||I recommend using the ENB||Download the "Vivid Weathers" and "Vivid Weathers ENB Files" main file.|
Install "Vivid Weathers"
Install "Vivid Weathers ENB Files"
After which, open the mod and copy the contents of "Vivid Weathers ENB Install Files" to the Skyrim folder. Please edit the enblocal.ini to your specifications.
- Changes for the vanilla LOD as it isn't really present
|Indistinguishable Vanilla Tree Billboards||Download and install the "Vanilla Skyrim and Dragonborn billboards High Res 1024" main file.|
|Dynamic Distant Objects LOD - DynDOLOD||If this is program is too much to understand, download and install the "showcase" optional files.||Download and install the "DynDOLOD Resources 2.14" main file, don't install any options. Download "DynDOLOD 2.14" main file and copy the contents to an external folder and add the "TexGen.exe" and "DynDoLOD.exe" to the programs in MO.|
Run the "TexGen.exe" through MO and click "Start". After which, copy/move the generated folder into the "<Mod Organizer>\mods" folder and enable the mod.
Start the Wrye Bash program and start to build the bashed path, select ok and make these edits
- Check "Merge Patches"
- Check "Import Names"
- Select all except "Skyrim.esm"
- Check "Import Stats"
- Check "Tweak Settings"
- Select "AI: Max Active Actors"
- Set the value to "100"
- Select "Combat: Max Actors"
- Set the value to "80"
- Select "Crime: Alarm Distance"
- Set the value to "1000"
- Select "AI: Max Active Actors"
- Check "Leveled Lists"
- Check "Automatic"
Then select build
STEP: For the wiki and community
Bur: For the mimicked STEP style
Ganda: For putting up with my non-sense about a game.